Biographical / Historical
Maurice Hankey was born on 1 April 1877 at Biarritz. He was the 3rd son of R. A. Hankey and his wife Helen Bakewell. He was educated at a private day school in Brighton and then Rugby School (1890-95). In 1903 Hankey married Adeline Hermine Gertrude Ernestine de Smidt, having three sons and one daughter.
Hankey began his naval career in 1895 as probationary Second Lieutenant, Royal Marine Artillery and attended the Royal Naval College, Greenwich. In 1897, he moved from Greenwich to Eastney Barracks, Portsmouth. Upon completing his examinations, from late 1898, Hankey was appointed to the H.M.S. Ramillies, the flagship of Mediterranean station.
In 1902, Hankey received his first Whitehall appointment, joining the staff of the naval intelligence department. Aside from a brief stint at sea in 1907, as an Intelligence Officer based in the Mediterranean, Hankey spent the remainder of his career based at Whitehall. During his Whitehall years, Hankey had a number of roles. In 1908, he became the Naval Assistant Secretary to the Committee of Imperial Defence (CID), subsequently becoming Secretary in 1912 (a role which he retained until retirement in 1938). In 1914, with the outbreak of war, Hankey's career rapidly blossomed as he became Secretary of the War Council and then, in 1916, Secretary of the War Cabinet. In the aftermath of WWI, in 1919, Hankey became the first Cabinet Secretary, which he remained in until his retirement. Hankey died at Redhill County Hospital, Surrey, on 26 January 1963.
Hankey held various positions and received numerous awards:
1895 Probationary Second Lieutenant, Royal Marine Artillery. Royal Naval College, Greenwich
1897 Eastney Barracks, Portsmouth
1899 H.M.S. Ramillies, Mediterranean
Aug 1899 Captain, R.M.A.
Apr 1902 Naval Intelligence Department
Dec 1906 Admiralty representative on Owen Committee
1907 Intelligence Officer, Mediterranean.
Jan 1908 Naval Assistant Secretary, Committee of Imperial Defence
June 1912 C.B.
1 Jan 1912 Secretary, C.I.D. (to 1938)
Oct 1914 Lieutenant Colonel, R.M.A. (retired)
Nov 1914 Secretary of War Council
Dec 1916 Secretary of War Cabinet
1917 Commander, Legion of Honour
1917 Secretary of Imperial War Cabinet
1919 British Secretary, Paris Peace Conference
1919 Secretary of Cabinet (to 1938)
1920 Grand Cross of Crown of Italy
1921 British Secretary, Washington Conference
1921 Secretary-General, Imperial Conference
1921 Grand Cross of Crown of Belgium
1922 British Secretary, Genoa Economic Conference
1923 Clerk of the Privy Council (to 1938)
1923 Secretary-General, Imperial Conference
1924 British Secretary, London International Conference
1926 Secretary-General, Imperial Conference
1929-30 Secretary-General, Hague Conference
1929 Colonel R.M. (retired)
1930 Secretary-General., Hague Conference
1930 Secretary-General, London Naval Conference
1930 Secretary-General, Imperial Conference
1932 Secretary, Lausanne Conference
1937 Secretary-General, Imperial Conference
1938 Retired. British Government Director of Suez Canal Co. (to 1939)
1939 First Baron Hankey of The Chart
1939 Member of Permanent Mandates Commission, League of Nations (to Sept 1939)
3 Sept 1939 Minister without Portfolio, War Cabinet
May 1940 Chancellor of Duchy of Lancaster
1940 Chairman, Scientific Advisory Committee (to 1942)
July 1941 Paymaster-General
Mar 1942 Dismissed from his office in Government
June 1942 F.R.S.
1943 Chairman, Colonial Products Research Council
1944 Chairman, Television Committee
1945 Lees Knowles Lectures, Trinity College, Cambridge
1945 Director of Jorehaut Tea Co. (to 1960)
1945 Commercial Director of Suez Canal Co.
1947 Member of Advisory Council on Scientific Research (to 1956)
1947 Director of Nile Insurance Co.
1951 Romanes Lectures at Oxford
1951 Grand Officer, Legion of Honour
1955 Order of the Rising Sun, First Class